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Latest crypto hack sees $12.7m 'wrapped' bitcoin stolen from pNetwork

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Bitcoin hack. Photo: Getty
pNetwork saw $12.7m in wrapped bitcoin disappear through a hack. Photo: Getty

A hacker has stolen $12.7m (£9.3m) in bitcoin from crypto transfer platform pNetwork.

pNetwork said in a tweet late on Sunday: "We're sorry to inform the community that an attacker was able to leverage a bug in our codebase and attack pBTC on BSC, stealing 277 BTC (most of its collateral)."

It said that all other "bridges" were not affected, adding: "All other funds in the pNetwork are safe."

Apologising for what had happened, on Twitter it said the bridges would be reactivated in a matter of hours.

Later, on Telegram, the company said that the bridges would be reactivated over the coming days with extra security measures in place meaning a lower rate of transaction processing. It also said it had identified and fixed the bug.

pBTC is pNetwork's version of wrapped bitcoin. Wrapped bitcoin is a token on a smart contract blockchain that can be used as a 1:1 to an equivalent amount of bitcoin. It means bitcoin can be used in decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols.

The hack took place on Binance Smart Chain, which was also involved in the $610m Poly Network hack earlier this year — the biggest DeFi heist in history.

pNetwork said it had identified a fix and that it was "prioritising security over speed." There hasn't been an update on the company's twitter since 11.43pm on Sunday night.

Watch: What is bitcoin?

It offered a $1.5m bounty to the attacker on return of the stolen funds, adding "this is a long shot."

"Finding vulnerabilities is part of the game unfortunately, but we all want DeFi ecosystem to continue growing, returning funds is a step in that direction," it said.

Read more: Bitcoin slides on environmental concerns but backers hope for a $100k high

An admin on pNetwork's Telegram channel said: "The team is working on the post-mortem as we speak and more information about the incident will be available shortly."

"Please bear with us during this difficult time. We will all come back stronger."

The price of pNetwork’s governance token PNT token has lost 18% of its value in the past 24 hours.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?